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English calls for own resignation

Written By: - Date published: 12:05 pm, August 7th, 2008 - 27 comments
Categories: bill english, john key, national - Tags: ,

A reader has alerted us to this article from the NZ Herald where Bill English explains why he should resign or be sacked over his recorded statements at the National Party conference.

Have a read for yourself – the analogy with the events of the last few days is perfect:

National Party deputy leader Bill English said Mr Williams should resign or be sacked.

“Mike Williams has been caught red-handed saying one thing behind closed doors and another thing to the public,” he said in a statement.

“He must go because the public cannot now trust him to keep Labour’s fingers out of the till in election year.”

“The Labour president has misled the public again in a bid to hide Labour’s plans to break the law. Mr Williams can’t be relied on to tell the public the truth, yet Helen Clark is defending him. This is an indictment on her judgment.”

Mr English said Labour suffered from a “culture of deceit”.

The conclusion is simple. If English is to retain any credibility in light of these comments then he must resign; if Key is to retain any credibility then he must sack him.

Somehow, I don’t think we’ll be seeing either. Not while National has ‘hip’ activists and roaming dogs to chase.

27 comments on “English calls for own resignation”

  1. Ari 1

    So with Lockwood owing us a resignation from when he was Minister of Education, and Bill English having called for his own resignation in advance a few months ago, National might be on the look out for a couple of new cabinet ministers 😛

  2. Ari. And when Key cuts super… there’ll be another one owing.

  3. burt 3

    Tane

    The conclusion is simple. If English is to retain any credibility in light of these comments then he must resign

    So are you also calling for Mike Williams to resign? He didn’t did he – so why should English?

    You can’t have it both ways – however I agree that it would be in the best interest of accountability if they both resigned.

  4. Tane 4

    I’m simply asking for Bill English to live up to his own principles.

  5. burt 5

    Tane

    Clark could sack Williams as well – just to make sure we are being consistent when you say Key should sack English.

    Wouldn’t want you being called partisan would we. No place for double standards at the standard.

  6. burt 6

    Tane

    I’m simply asking for Bill English to live up to his own principles.

    I agree with you on that. But principles are principles and therefore you should also be calling for Williams to resign or for Clark to sack him. Are you being consistent – Yes or No ?

  7. Tane 7

    Burt if I had my way half the politicians in the country would be forced to resign.

    However, I don’t think Williams should have had to resign – he holds no public office and is accountable only to Labour Party members. It’s up to them whether they want him to go.

    I’m not particularly convinced English should have to resign either, as much as I’d like him to. But he’s the one who called on Williams to resign for the same thing, and if he wants any credibility he should hold himself accountable to the same standards he holds his opponents.

  8. roger nome 8

    “Not while National has ‘hip’ activists and roaming dogs to chase.”

    lol – maybe it was one of these cats?

  9. roger nome 9

    Burt – time for a cup of coffee bro. You’re embarrassing yourself … again.

  10. Matthew Pilott 10

    But principles are principles and therefore you should also be calling for Williams to resign or for Clark to sack him.

    Burt, Bill English’s principles aren’t necessarily the same as those of everyone else. Tane is saying he should abide by his own principles. Nothing wrong with that is there, burt?

    As he made that statement above, then he should be held equally accountable. You’ll notice this post isn’t calling for Lockwood Smith to resign, because Smith did not say such a thing. Theoretically, English should demand Smith’s resifgnation as well. Principles, and all that.

    According to English’s principles, if a non-elected official should have to resign for “saying one thing behind closed doors and another thing to the public”, then English, as an elected official, should probably go as well, don’t you think? Even worse in his case really, as he’s elected.

    So, Bill, time to jump.

  11. Ari 11

    Actually Pilott, Lockwood did say such a thing, just regarding a different embarrassing situation:

    http://jafapete.wordpress.com/2008/08/07/youd-trust-him-again/

    😉

    edit: Oh, and the standard’s take on it, too:

    Déjà vu

  12. burt 12

    Matthew Pilott

    Burt, Bill English’s principles aren’t necessarily the same as those of everyone else. Tane is saying he should abide by his own principles. Nothing wrong with that is there, burt?

    We are talking about principles. Either it was valid for Williams to resign and therefore it’s valid for English to resign as well or neither should resign – as Tane indicated.

    You can’t say English was wrong to call for Williams to resign but he should resign himself if you are talking about application of principles. You can if you want to score points.

    Remembering of course Williams was talking to a group and English was having a private conversation. There is a difference.

  13. Ari 13

    Burt, we’re talking about consistency in one person’s principles. I’m not sure where you got the idea that Bill English’s principles apply universally, but I doubt it was from anyone writing at the Standard or any of us left-leaning commentators.

    The thing about consistency is that it only has to be internal- Bill English needs to be true to Bill English’s words and actions. Mike Williams does not need to be true to Bill English’s words and actions- that’s just silly.

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    “You can’t say English was wrong to call for Williams to resign but he should resign himself if you are talking about application of principles. ”

    Sure you can. It’s easy.

    1)I don’t think either event is demanding of a resignation.
    2)Bill English claims the Williams one is.
    3)His own case has the same principles involved.

    So,

    4) Based on the seperate principle that people should live up to the standards they demand of others, I think English should either resign, or publicly withdraw his comments about the Williams case and apologise. (2,3)

    5)Still can’t see any need for Williams to resign. (1)

  15. burt. shouldn’t English be consistent with the standards he has set? Even if they’re unreasonable, he demands them of others, he should live up to them himself.

  16. rjs131 16

    Now would you be insisting he resigns as a MP or as deputy leader. If as a MP, woudl you want a by election prior to teh election? If he did resign and then re-stood to gain a public mandate do you think he would lose ?

  17. burt 17

    Steve P.

    Parliament should be consistent with the standards it has set for all. End of story.

    Rodney stands apart at the moment.

  18. burt. That’s that got to do with English calling on Williams to resign when damaging statements he thought weren’t being recorded were made public and then refusing to resign when the same thing happens to him?

    These are English’s standards, he should live by them

  19. Matthew Pilott 19

    Parliament should be consistent with the standards it has set for all. End of story.

    Burt, we’re not talking about the standard of Parliament. We’re talking about Bill English’s principles. Not everyone has the same principles – but everyone has their own. It’s sad to see English not living by his own principles.

    Remembering of course Williams was talking to a group and English was having a private conversation. There is a difference.

    No there’s not, we’re talking about public and private. One was at a closed workshop, one was at a cocktail function. No material difference. And remember it’s not about whether the two situations were the same down to the type of suit they were wearing – it’s about principle.

    Either English has a lack thereof, or he was just spinning a whole truckload of gobshite about Williams, for which he should apologise.

  20. burt 20

    Matthew Pilott

    There is a big difference. One was talking about ways to subverty a law that he apparently supported and the other was talking about his own thoughts on policy.

    Doooh – No need to resign for planning to break the law in devious ways….

  21. Ari 21

    Burt: It was pretty clear that Williams made a gaffe in not realising that the EFA applied and quickly apologised for his indiscretion later. English quite clearly knew he was undermining his leader and was dogwhistling pretty heavily that he was going to mislead the public and try to take on a secret agenda after elected.

    Regardless, I don’t think either of them need to resign. But English thought Williams needed to resign, so why shouldn’t English do so immediately?

  22. Lew 22

    Ari, that’s disingenuous. Williams claimed it never happened until someone came through with audio. He certainly didn’t make an honest indiscretion and quickly apologise for it.

    L

  23. burt 23

    Ari

    So English was wrong and ridiculed for being wrong because Williams didn’t need to resign for encouraging people to break the law just recently passed by Labour. But English was right if he was talking about himself….

    Principles… English may have painted himself as a muppet over Williams, he may have been right. But he was either right or he was wrong. If he was right for Williams he was right for himsel;f as well. If he was wrong for Williams he was wrong for himself as well.

    Eitherway – Williams and Clark tell us English was wrong – so that’s pretty much the end of it.

    Lew. Cheers, saved me linking to all sorts of stuff.

  24. lprent 24

    Lew: From memory, Mike Williams denied saying it was “a good idea”, not that the idea wasn’t raised. In other words he couldn’t remember his exact reaction.

    I’m pretty much the same. I remember being in the hall, hearing the idea raised, thinking it was a good idea, and saying something about it to the person next to me.

    However I cannot remember who the person was next to me, or what my exact words were. It wasn’t until afterwards when I had time to think and read comment that I realized it probably wasn’t that good an idea.

    It was just a bright but unworkable idea raised in a discussion on the shortage of properly labeled campaign materials. It wasn’t an articulation on policy.

    There is quite a difference between that and what were clearly articulated opinions offering reassurance by a shadow minister to a supporter that the public policy of the National party was not the whole of the policy direction. I’m afraid that using the same line as English used on Williams, he is far more guilty of the same offense.

    It would be a shame to see him go though. He is one of the few proven competent people in the national caucus.

  25. “However I cannot remember who the person was next to me”

    Good ol’ Labour selective memory loss. Nothing more too see here, move along wimps and girls.

  26. Lew 26

    Lynn: My point wasn’t so much what exactly Williams did or didn’t say, as that it wasn’t quite as simple and clear-cut as Ari made it out to be. Not that that significantly undermines your (or his) overall argument about sauce for the goose, etc.

    L

  27. imcheezy 27

    “But he was either right or he was wrong. If he was right for Williams he was right for himsel;f as well. If he was wrong for Williams he was wrong for himself as well.”

    Are you being intentionally obtuse, burt? Let’s go through this slowly…

    It’s not a question of ‘either he was right or he was wrong’. Because there are two distinct opinions out there as to whether being caught saying one thing in private and another thing in public… Some people will think it is a resigning matter, and some people won’t.

    Fair enough, it’s a free country. Diversity of opinion on matters like this is to be expected.

    But now, what is Bill English’s opinion on this matter? Ah, here we go! It seems that Bill English thinks it is a resigning matter.

    How do we know this? It’s because he said so:

    “Mike Williams has been caught red-handed saying one thing behind closed doors and another thing to the public,” he said in a statement. “He must go”.

    So all Tane is doing here is wondering why Bill English doesn’t hold himself to the same principle that he holds others to. Simple really.

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